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From The Socialist newspaper, 20 May 2015

Fight Tories' new 'anti-extremism' law

Mark Best

The Tories plan to announce a raft of new 'anti-extremism' powers for the state in the Queen's Speech on 27 May alongside their proposed scrapping of the Human Rights Act.

Looking to pass measures floated before the general election, but opposed by the Lib Dems and even some Tories, home secretary Theresa May has set her sights on "extremists" who "do not break existing laws."

Restrictions on free speech, both in public and online, could be used against groups and individuals who "create an atmosphere conducive to terrorism".

For a party which has presided over five years of vicious cuts and is promising more to come, to claim they are fighting those causing "harassment, alarm or distress" is rank hypocrisy!

These plans come hand in hand with the so called 'Snoopers Charter' requiring internet and phone companies to keep detailed logs of usage for a year. At the same time changes are planned for the Freedom of Information act, to make it easier for officials to withhold information from the public.

They want to increase the scrutiny of the general public by those in power and hide what those at the top are up to!

These measures brought in under the guise of fighting terrorism are able to target any organisation or individual deemed to be engaging in "harmful activities" for the "purpose of overthrowing democracy".

Past anti-terror legislation, brought in under Labour as well as the Tories, has been used against protestors demonstrating against arms fairs and on environmental issues. The police have spied on anti-racist campaigners and socialists.

The Tories have made clear that they are gearing up for an assault on trade union rights, Margaret Thatcher famously called the striking miners "the enemy within" and a threat to liberty.

It's not hard to imagine that the capitalist class would argue that significant strike action would constitute a threat to public order, because it threatens what drives the capitalist class, their profits.

Similarly their definition of "extremist" could easily be extended to socialists and anyone who opposes the status quo.

The way to defeat these unjust laws or render them meaningless is to fight back and resist them. The non-payment campaign which defeated the Poll Tax in the early 1990s proves this.

Individual whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden have a role to play in bringing to light the abuses of those in power, but it is only through our collective strength that they can be stopped.

Attacks on the rights to strike and demonstrate must be met with organised opposition, including demonstrations and if necessary strike action.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 20 May 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cut rents not benefits

Fight back at the Tory war on youth

Stop the "elites fortifying their power"

Build a movement to defeat the government's savagery

Labour leadership contest - appealing to big business

Fight Tories' new 'anti-extremism' law

State and big business spied on activists

Ukip provocateur unmasked

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

Support the National Rail walkout over pay and jobs

FBU debates how to combat Tory onslaught

All-out pay strike forces Labour council back to table

ITV production staff

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

US: Bernie Sanders calls for 'political revolution'


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Election aftermath: anti-Tory austerity protests

Cheapskate council screws up election ballot!

Build up resources to fight the Tories

Management thrashed in academies debate

Campaign news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Russell Brand's 'The Emperor's New Clothes'

Save our 'life saver' libraries!

Tories rig exams to favour rich students


 

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Related links:

Democracy:

trianglePolice attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters

triangleUsdaw's virtual annual conference - a mockery of union democracy

triangleFootball abuse scandal: Reclaim the game for justice and democracy

triangleDefending the right to protest

triangleSham inquiry into 'progressive extremism'

Tories:

trianglePublic sector pay - NHS, teachers - Prepare for action!

triangleTories threaten to axe free prescriptions for older workers

triangleTrade unions must continue the fight for Covid safety

triangleKick out the privatisers - Fight for a 15% Pay rise

Strike:

triangleSt Mungo's strikers end 12-week strike

triangleWorkplace round-up

triangleBrush workers into eighth week of strike

Terrorism:

triangleHorrific murder in Paris: fight intolerance and racism!

triangleExciting Cuban spy thriller exposes US-sponsored terrorism

Capitalist:

triangleRight-wing study concludes youth like socialism

Arms:

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists

Freedom of Information Act:

triangleThem & Us

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